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Friday, November 26, 2021

Schenectady settles union contracts with firefighters, bureau services, electrical workers

SCHENECTADY – Contracts with three city unions were recently settled in the city to a combined effect of $4.1 million, including an update to the firefighter unit’s agreement that previously expired in December 2018.

“They are basic – in the 2% range – so they are in line with inflation and what other communities are doing,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said of the contracts that were authorized by the City Council last week with the City Firefighters, Bureau Were. Services and Electrical Staff Unit.

“These have been out for a while,” McCarthy said of the retroactive agreements. “Due to COVID, things got pushed back. So it is recognizing what employees do, providing pay increases so that they can be compensated.

“The flip side of this is that we’re having trouble just like everyone else in terms of hiring people,” the mayor said, noting his proposed 2022 operating budget call to hire 45 employees. “Some wage increases raise it a bit, so as to motivate people to take up jobs with the city.”

Firefighters Association President Ben Yechler did not return a message last week.

Here’s an analysis of each contract:

A memorandum of understanding with the local 28 IAFF AFL-CIOs, which represents 125 city firefighting positions, gives workers a 2% retroactive pay increase through January 1, 2019, January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

Workers will also get a 2% wage increase on January 1, 2022 and January 2023 and 2024.

In addition, they will receive a one-time nonpayment of $250 until April 2020 for their work done in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, effective January 1, 2022, their Longevity Pay and Program increases by 4.65% over 10 to 14 years; 6.65% during his 15th year of employment; And this is over 8% during their 20th year of employment.

The agreement calls for a marginal increase in longevity pay in January 2023.

Unit members assigned to the Fire Investigation Division will receive a $5,000 annual stipend, which will be paid in equal weekly installments during the year.

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The stipend is in exchange for the understanding that all certified fire investigators will be available on a rotating schedule to respond to fire investigations related to emergency calls. The coverage time frame will be distributed equally among the investigators who have to make themselves available at all times and upon notification from the fire department. They will be given 90 minutes to reach the fire headquarters.

The effect of the new firefighters contract is $3,262,892.

The contract with the union for 110 service bureau positions is in effect at $777,152 at the city.

Highlights of that contract included: the inclusion of Juneteenth as a holiday; A retrospective wage increase of $1.50 per hour from January 1, 2021, with another $1.50 per hour increase on January 1, 2022, and a 2% increase in January 2023, January 2024 and January 2025.

All on-call employees will receive $100 per week beginning January 1, 2022.

Waste Department Mechanical equipment and maintenance operators who voluntarily drive and load alone will receive an additional “one-person” rate of $2 per hour.

Labor loaders who load voluntarily alone will receive an additional $1 per hour.

All water and sewer maintenance staff will be cross-trained and upgraded for $1 per hour.

In the end, a contract with five positions in the Electricity Workers labor union has an impact of $92,000 on the city.

It also increases employees’ wages by 2.25% retrospectively for both January 2020 and January 2021, with a new base pay of $74,305 for line workers and electricians.

They will also receive an additional $1,000 one-time bonus as essential workers during the pandemic.

They are to achieve an additional 2.25% growth in January 2022 and 2023.

On Contact Correspondent Brian Lee [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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